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Friday, April 16, 2010

N.C. Girl Commits Suicide After Receiving Harassing Text Messages

N.C. student Hangs Herself After Harassing Text Messages

A sophomore at Glenn High School committed suicide this week after receiving harassing text messages from other students, school officials said Friday.

Ashley Rogers hanged herself at her home Wednesday night in Kernersville, said Donald Jason, a Forsyth County medical examiner. She was pronounced dead at 10:55 p.m. at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

Her mother, Christine Rogers, called school administrators on Tuesday to tell them that two students had been sending her daughter harassing text messages. After investigating, the school’s resource officer determined that the students had sent text messages starting at 10:30 p.m. April 8 and continuing until 7:30 a.m. on April 9.

“The administrators talked to all the students involved,” said Theo Helm, a spokesman for the school system.

The students were told that such behavior would not be tolerated. Because the messages were not sent during school hours, no disciplinary action was taken against the students, Helm said.

Officials would not say what the messages were about.

School officials have been talking to teachers, guidance counselors and others at the school to find out whether there had been other incidents of students harassing Rogers, Helm said. So far, he said, they have not found evidence of other incidents.

The Kernersville Police Department is investigating Rogers’ death, Chief Ken Gamble said.

Investigators are checking computers and cell phones involved in the case.

Rogers’ death occurred three months after Phoebe Prince, a high-school freshman in Massachusetts, endured months of taunts and threats after she briefly dated a popular boy. Prince, 15, hanged herself at home on Jan. 14, and six of her classmates face charges.

In October 2006, Megan Meier, who lived in Missouri, committed suicide by hanging herself in her closet. Meier was the target of cyber bullying via her MySpace account.

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Sources: McClatchy Newspapers, MSNBC, NY Daily News, Winston-Salem Journal, Google Maps

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